RCA acquires first SJ rehab facility
MAYS LANDING - Recovery Centers of America, the startup that abandoned plans to open new drug and alcohol rehab facilities in Haddonfield and Mount Laurel, officially acquired an existing facility in Mays Landing.
RCA, founded by real estate developer Brian O’Neill, acquired Lighthouse Recovery Center, a 53-bed treatment facility.
The center will include inpatient and outpatient treatment and medically supervised detox and be renamed Recovery Centers of America at Lighthouse.
“Lighthouse is a fantastic acquisition for RCA. Its residential treatment center in Mays Landing, coupled with its three satellite outpatient sites, enables us to offer world-class behavioral health treatment,” Dr. Deni Carise, chief clinical officer for RCA, said in a statement.
“We are thrilled to open Recovery Centers of America at Lighthouse and provide the community with a five-star patient experience, centered on evidence-based treatment options required to help those suffering rebuild and reclaim their lives, families, and futures,” Carise said.
Lighthouse underwent a complete remodel, RCA said, and now offers new furniture, updated decor, gourmet dining, technology upgrades and new clinical programs.
“We intend to treat our patients to an experience that equals five-star hotel living while providing a menu of individualized, proven-effective clinical services,” Carise said. “Our patients will benefit from unprecedented personalized service to provide them with the treatment and support needed to successfully make this critical life transition, thereby empowering them to regain their self-worth.”
Citing statistics from Gov. Chris Christie’s administration, RCA noted New Jersey’s heroin and opioid epidemic: In 2014, 1,310 New Jersey residents died from drug-related causes.
“Lighthouse represents our first key strategic acquisition in a growth plan that will open eight behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment centers in the next two years,” O’Neill said in a statement.
“Lighthouse will help achieve our goals of treating 1 million Americans and to tirelessly advocate for the estimated 22 million Americans suffering from substance use disorder,” said O’Neill.
Based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Recovery Centers of America plans to open treatment centers throughout the Northeast, including one on the site of a former Diocese of Camden retreat center in Gloucester Township.
RCA is applying for a use variance for the site at 1840 Peter Cheeseman Road, where it plans to operate a sprawling facility.
RCA, doing business in Gloucester Township as 1840 P. Cheeseman Road LLC, won prior zoning approval for 37 inpatient beds.
According to a legal notice, RCA will seek a use variance for 317 inpatient beds and 16 supervisor beds, to be developed in two phases.
That will be the subject of a meeting Wednesday night.
“We are 100 percent moving forward with this facility,” O’Neill said in February, adding the issue is an “interpretation question” about how many beds would be permitted at the 27.27-acre site.
The first phase would include renovating and expanding the site’s main building to include 125 inpatient beds, clinical and therapy rooms, offices, a cybercafé, a gym, meeting rooms and kitchen and dining facilities.
The second phase would include four buildings with a total of 192 inpatient beds, 16 supervisor beds and other amenities and meeting rooms.
This would require the use variance, and according to the legal notice, RCA “disagrees with the planning director’s decision” and believes the planned use is permitted under current zoning regulations.
Earlier this month, RCA withdrew its application with Mount Laurel’s township zoning board to build a 300-bed facility at 3030 Route 38.
In December, RCA secured $231.5 million in financing from Deerfield Management Co., a New York-based health-care investment firm.
Among its other planned locations along the East Coast were Earleville, Waldorf and Upper Marlboro, Maryland; Danvers, Massachusetts; and Paoli, Pennsylvania.
In January, Haddonfield commissioners unanimously approved an agreement to purchase a significant portion of the Bancroft property from Recovery Centers of America for $12.9 million, ending a long chapter on the fate of the site.
The sale opened the door for redevelopment of the 19.2-acre property adjacent to Haddonfield Memorial High School and ends the controversial proposal by RCA to open a drug and alcohol rehab facility there.
Phaedra Trethan: (856) 486-2417; firstname.lastname@example.org